Travelling with existing medical conditions: where to get advice

Travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

When planning a trip to another country, it's important to understand your medical conditions and how they might affect your travel. Existing medical conditions that could be impacted by travel include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Cancer/blood disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy/seizure disorders
  • High blood pressure

If you have one or more of these conditions, it's important to be prepared while travelling to other countries. Here's a quick guide to where you can find useful information when planning your trip:

Speak to your GP

Before you go on your trip, speak to your doctor (or a medical professional). Your GP can check whether you are fit to travel and advise you on any treatment options necessary for your destination. They will know what medication you're already taking, any conditions that make travelling difficult for you and whether there are any restrictions on where you can go or what activities are safe for you to do.

The rules about what kind of medical paperwork you need vary from country to country. For example, some countries require you to have a letter from your doctor stating that you have a specific condition, and how long it's expected to last. Your GP can advise on what kind of medical documentation is required and help ensure you have everything ready before heading out the door!

Charities can offer advice on a wide range of health issues

It's a good idea to get a second opinion from a charity specialising in your condition. This will ensure that you are aware of any potential risks and can take steps to avoid them.

Diabetes UK is a great example of a charity that can help you with this. They have experts on staff and can help you understand what you need to do before you leave the country. This can include things like:

  • Making sure you're ready for the trip and have everything packed up
  • Getting a letter from your doctor confirming your condition is stable and that it won't need any extra treatment while abroad
  • Making sure you have enough medication with you

The British Heart Foundation is another great option for travel planning advice. They offer a variety of resources and services for anyone who needs help managing their heart health during their travels abroad. They provide information on their website about how to plan ahead for visits to hospitals and clinics so that everything goes smoothly when you arrive on site.

FCDO travel advice pages

If you're planning your trip, it's important to start by learning about the travel rules and laws in the destination country. You can get that information on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website, where you'll also find tips on preparing for your trip and what things to watch out for. This includes information on terrorism, civil unrest, crime and law enforcement, political disturbances, natural disasters and climate change.

The information in these pages is intended to help travellers make informed decisions when planning their trip or preparing for their journey. It also aims to protect UK nationals abroad from harm or persecution by providing practical advice on how to seek assistance if something goes wrong during their trip.

These articles are broken down into categories, such as natural disasters, health, local laws and customs, terrorism, and entry requirements. The articles cover topics such as vaccinations for various locations worldwide (including those in developing countries), tips on avoiding scams while travelling, and numbers to call when you need emergency help. Check out the links within each article for more targeted information.

Embassy or tourist information for the country you are visiting

It's a good idea to get advice from your country's embassy or tourist information office before your trip.

Some embassies will have a person on staff who can speak to you about your health concerns. This person may be able to offer general advice about what to expect in your destination country. They can even let you know if any special vaccinations are required as part of your travel itinerary!

There are other ways that embassies and tourist information offices can help. They can give you additional resources like contact numbers for local doctors or hospitals or point out how certain medications work differently in other countries. If possible, they should also provide links to websites where you can find more information on a particular condition or medication.


If you're planning a trip abroad, it's always a good idea to take a few steps in advance and make sure that your medical conditions are taken care of. This is especially true if you're going to be away for a long time. We hope this short guide has helped you understand all your options and will help ease your mind when it comes to planning your next trip abroad.

Of course, one of the most important things to do before you travel is buy appropriate travel insurance which includes cover for all of your pre-existing medical conditions. The main purpose travel insurance for existing conditions is to cover any unexpected or emergency medical costs whilst you are abroad. Medical bills abroad can quickly add up to thousands of pounds so it is important to buy insurance every time you travel.

You can buy travel insurance for medical conditions online, but most providers also have a telephone line available where you can talk to a real person if you need more help declaring your medical conditions or understanding the cover.

We understand that older people and those with medical conditions may have specific needs when it comes to travel insurance. Our medical travel insurance is a tailored solution for those with pre-existing medical conditions.

Don't wait another minute to get a travel insurance quote from us today!